Pain

By Aaron Goldhammer

While flipping through the channels tonight, I stumbled across something that reminded me why I love baseball so much. Over the past few months, the MLB Network has been showing the 20 greatest baseball games of the last 50 years. Tonight? Number 7: The Steve Bartman game.

In the fall of 2003, I was in my junior year at NYU and hosting a bi-weekly sports talk show for the on-campus radio station. Since most of my friends in New York were either Yankees or Red Sox fans, I was playing much more attention to ALCS. But with the Cubs so close to their first trip to the World Series in generations, I took notice.

In watching the Cubs fall apart with extra commentary from Bob Costas and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verdicci, I realized just how fast Chicago’s championship hopes faded. In 12 short minutes, Bartman interfered with a foul ball, the Cubs 3-0 lead turned into an 8-3 deficit, and Wrigley Field went from the brink of the pennant to total despair.

Chicago has seen Jordan’s Bulls, the Super Bowl Shuffle, and the ’05 White Sox, but I think the pain of that night still lingers on the North side. Alas, the Cubs have not won a playoff game since Bartman got in the way of Moises Alou catching that ball.

Say what you want about “The Drive,” “The Shot,” and “The Fumble.” I know most Clevelanders are going to disagree, but I think the Bartman game stacks up against any of Cleveland’s misery.

If the Rockies are out, I hope we get to see the Indians play the Cubs in the World Series this fall. The Curse of Chief Wahoo against the Curse of the Billy Goat…

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2 Comments

  1. Only as a BASEBALL fan Hammer, not the overall “long suffering”….

  2. Big difference, the Bartman game was only game 6 of the series. Much like the BoSox /Buckner in ’86, the Cubs still could have won in game 7 but failed to do so. The Shot was in a deciding game 5, no tomorrow to overcome it.

    I think Cubs fans would find ’84 just as tragic w/ Leon Durham lettting a ball go through his wickets.

    Don’t know how this game was #7 on their list. Other than that inning, the game was none too memorable.

    You can’t really compare Cubs fans agony with CLEVELAND fans. Chicago fans have been able to celebrate other championships while we sit here still and patiently wait.


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